5 Things to do When Pulled Over

When we get behind the wheel, we don’t usually expect to be pulled over.
No matter how experienced you are, arming yourself with some basic legal knowledge can help to avoid complications with Police.
The majority of drivers have no idea how to behave when they are pulled over.
No worries, we got you covered!

  • Keep Calm, Relax
    If you act suspicious, the police might suspect you in illegal activity. So, don’t panic! Keep your license and registration close by and keep your hands on the wheel where the police can see. You can’t be pulled over because of your nationality, race, ethnicity or gender. If you think you were pulled over wrongfully, simply record the conversation with the police. The officer is not obligated to let you know why you were pulled over. Keep it short and be polite. After all, officers are also humans, who are just doing their job.

 

  • Find a Safe Spot to Park
    Slow down and turn on your turning signal. This will let the police know that you are pulling over. If it is late at night, you are allowed to drive to the nearest gas station or a well lit area to pull over. When fully stopped, roll down the window and stay calm. Don’t take off your seat belt, otherwise you might be charged for not wearing it.

 

  • Follow the Orders
    To make sure you don’t complicate the situation, just do what you are asked. Stay in the car unless, the officer directs you to do otherwise. Make movements only when asked to reach for your license and registration. In case of suspicious activity, the officer has the right to do a quick pat down search of weapons.

 

  • You Have a Right to Remain Silent
    Remember, answering questions honestly is a great advantage. Nevertheless, the police may try to get information from you that can be used against you in court. Your answers will be included on the police report and later be used as evidence in court.

 

  • You don’t Have to Consent to a Search of Yourself or Your vehicle.
    When asked for permission to search your car, you may say no. The officer can search your car only if they have obtained a warrant.Moreover, the officer may search your car only if they spot illegal items in plain view. If you decline the request to search your car, that does not yet create a probable cause for the police officer. Nevertheless, the courts tend to favor the police on probable cause. Even if  there were no basis for probable cause and the search happened incorrectly, it will still be considered legal.

 

  • Don’t Argue About the Ticket
    Don’t be rude to the officer, otherwise they can lead you to criminal court. If you do not agree with the alleged violation, don’t argue about the ticket. Just take it, call your attorney and contest the ticket in traffic court.

 

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Lucy Bichakhchyan

Lucy Bichakhchyan is the CEO and founder of ANSTORAGIR youth initiative.

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